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1998 annual report
solar cookers international

president's message

because of you, sci's members and supporters, 1998 was a year of steady growth.

sci continues working with organizations in three pilot field projects, assisting the process to make each self-sustaining. we hired our first east africa coordinator and opened our first office overseas. we demonstrated and recorded several more steps toward a cost-effective introduction process that other organizations could replicate.

drs. barbara knudson and bill lankford studied the wood savings for refugee solar cooks, finding at least 1/4 of a family's fuel needs are handily met by just one solar cooker.

we continue to produce widely used teaching materials and to provide consultation by correspondence to hundreds of private and governmental groups, large and small, from many sunny, fuel-scarce parts of the world.

our volunteer board of directors is strong, dedicated and active. their hard work contributed to our raising $240,000 in donations, exceeding our goal by 17%!

executive director's message

on completing ten years as executive director, i recall the adventures of working with hundreds of extraordinary, delightful people being sup- ported by thousands of contributors, and seeing firsthand the countless ways dedicated and courageous people are working to:

  • improve and adapt solar cooking to be useful and affordable in varied locales
  • improve teaching methods and materials
  • exchange experience and ideas (and avoid mistakes already made elsewhere)
  • empower women to become trainers and then successful businesswomen
  • lighten the burdens of thousands of women and children in sunny, fuel-scarce regions

we measure progress by how many solar cooks benefit from solar cooking, how many trainers create successful businesses, and whether solar cooking continues and spreads after the project ends. sci's field guides, training manuals, consultations, etc. are aimed at helping groups in all sunny parts of the world to sustain solar cooker projects over the five or so years needed to create a viable market

surely life is brighter for people in sunny, fuel-scarce parts of the world when they use the free and abundant sun to cook their meals.

1998 in a nutshell

forty-four hundred more families in kakuma were enabled to solar cook in 1998, benefiting over 25,000 more refugees. this is a 50% increase over the previous year. refugee coordinator shadrack alumai and the kakuma social services staff of the lutheran world federation (lwf) now run the solar cooker project. 

wood savings by solar cooks were measured in kakuma camp in a two-week survey by sci volunteers dr. barbara knudson and dr. bill lankford. they found that families using 
solar cookers on sunny days used 1/4 to 1/2 less wood. solar cooker use by refugees and benefits to them have been confirmed by sci's own observations and also by independent studies by the united nations high commissioner for refugees. savings of labor, money and time are documented.

activities in the second kenya refugee camp, dadaab, remain temporarily suspended following disruption during the el ni´┐Żo floods of 1997 and a temporary three-year alleviation of wood shortages in the camp by us disaster relief funds. sci hopes to contribute to planning for the time when wood shortages will again be a factor in dadaab.

in aisha, a small refugee camp located in eastern ethiopia, 2000 families now have solar cookers. however, a hitch in the unhcr program prevented access to replacement bags. plans for 1999 are to hire a full-time person in ethiopia to work with the aisha refugee trainers and local market to make replacement bags available. the new staff member will also explore production of solar cookers in ethiopia.

in zimbabwe, keen interest in solar cooking continues to exceed supplies and support services currently available. the committed staff of the development technology center (dtc) at the university of zimbabwe has continued to work with the trainers from the pilot community, epworth. the other pilot community, ntabazinduna, was blessed with a generous grant from rotary international, and the bulawayo rotary club is working closely with hlekweni friends rural training center to support the trainers with cooker supplies, bicycles, uniforms and ongoing encouragement. girl guide trainer barby pulliam provided solar cooking training and trainers' training for aztrec in southeastern zimbabwe. dtc and sci drafted guidelines for building essential support services for much larger regions of zimbabwe. sci plans in 1999 to hire a full time person in zimbabwe to help bring together the existing resources in zimbabwe to build these services.

sci hired kenyan educator and energy expert ms. margaret c.a. owino as our first east africa coordinator.

sci volunteer professor ed pejack contributed preliminary field explorations into hand production of cookits in kenya and ethiopia. these explorations continue.

sci continues to exchange news with hundreds of groups worldwide and shares these in its newsletter, the solar cooker review.

and we established a shimeall special response fund honoring two of sci's founders, to help sci meet unanticipated opportunities and challenges.

sci is about people helping people gain a lifelong skill. sci has a highly dedicated staff and the support of generous members and foundations.

on behalf of the thousands of people in fuel-scarce, sunny areas, a million thanks to all.


1998 board

1998 advisors

mark aalfs mark aalfs, usa barbara kerr, usa
james arwood juan arriaga, chile barbara knudson, usa
karie brown roger bernard, france bob larson, usa
beverlee bruce, ph.d. david chikodzore, zimbabwe al ligtenberg, usa
c. jay campbell don coan, usa louise meyer, usa
norge jerome, ph.d. sherry cole, usa jeanne-marie moore, usa
linda helm krapf john collentine, usa faustine odaba, kenya
william lankford, ph.d. fabiola cuvi ortiz, ecuador waafas ofosu-amaah, usa
robert larson rajammal devadas, india edwin pejack, usa
lorrie mccurdy tom duhain, usa wilfred pimentel, usa
robert metcalf, ph.d. isaac c. ferguson, usa martha & michael port, usa
virginie mitchem christopher flavin, usa tungamirai rukuni, zimbabwe
shyam nandwani, ph.d. mary frank, usa g. cal setzer, usa
edwin pejack, ph.d. paul funk, usa clark & eleanor shimeall, usa
barby pulliam sonia heptonstall, switzerland tom sponheim, usa
elvira williams gary hursh, jd, usa roma stibravy, usa
joyce jett, switzerland wendy vanden heuvel, usa
peter kariuki, kenya/usa



fiscal summary




grants & contracts


sales & other





africa programs




fund development









inventory & equipment












net assets 12/31/98


full audited financial statements are available on request.

sci meets all of the standards of the national charities information bureau, but our budget is too small to be included in their wise giving guide.

sci is a member of interaction and meets all of its standards for private, voluntary organizations.

1998 foundation support

community foundation of greater memphis

compton foundation

jkw foundation

thomas & donna stone foundation

transamerica foundation

william slaughter foundation

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